Illegal cow teat amputations: Auckland farmer fined $3250

The 60-year-old amputated the teats of seven cows.
The 60-year-old amputated the teats of seven cows. Photo credit: Getty Images

An Auckland dairy farmer has been fined $3250 for illegally amputating the teats of seven cows.

Pieter Nicholaas Smit - who owns a property at Waiuku - was sentenced at the Morrinsville District Court for one representative animal welfare charge.

The 60-year-old admitted to using rubber rings as tourniquets on the animals when mastitis did not clear up after treatment with antibiotics.

An animal welfare inspector visited Smit's property at Waiuku in May 2020 after a complaint was made.

Ministry for Primary Industries animal welfare manager Brendon Mikkelsen said Smit had failed to provide appropriate care to the animals.

"Teat removal is a significant surgical procedure. It should be undertaken by a veterinarian using anaesthesia," he said.

Mikkelsen said teat removal was not a treatment for mastitis and the practice was opposed by experienced veterinarians.

The offending occurred over a five-year period.